Can Yahoo! find next big band for Universal?

Yahoo! Canada is giving indie bands and solo acts a shot at the online limelight.

Yahoo! Canada is running a campaign for sponsors Universal Music Canada and Toronto-based Metalworks Studios that gives online musicians and live performers a shot at stardom – with Canadians paring the list of potential winners down, elimination-style. The ‘Up Yours’ contest offers the winner $10,000 cash, 30 hours recording time at Metalworks Studios, a $10,000 scholarship to the Metalworks Institute, as well as a shot at a record deal with Universal.

Starting March 20, users can register for a Yahoo! ID to watch, vote and comment. The last day to submit content is April 7. One week later, Universal will announce the top ten contenders. Voters will help the sponsor pare that list down to the top three, who will be announced on May 1. Voting for the winner ends May 6.

Yahoo! Canada marketing acquisition specialist Jaime Kalesnikoff tells MiC that promotion for the campaign began with a guerrilla marketing team handing out postcards at Canadian Music Week events. On-air contest ads will run on about five Corus Radio stations, including 102.1 The Edge in Toronto. Kalesnikoff says a print campaign may launch during the voting phases of the campaign, but details have not yet been decided.

The contest is similar to another Idol-like talent search Yahoo!’s US network experimented with last fall. The US prize was $50,000 plus a development deal to star in a Yahoo! show. The finale was presented in a game-show-like video at that featured a host, five finalists and commentators including Tom Green.